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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post 9 Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 02:35 Reply with quote Back to top

Vampires are an interesting and challenging team. I don't have much experience with them - only played about 30 games in total - and I'm having some trouble getting them to work properly.

It seems to me that the biggest challenge with them is on their offense. When they're on D, the strategy seems fairly clear-cut: use the hypno gaze to strike at the ball carrier whenever you can (ideally every turn). Either you get the dice and nab the ball or you don't and end up out of position and/or losing too many players to be effective.

However, offense to me seems a lot more challenging. It seems like they should be trying for a quick TD, because they lose players too quickly to stall or hang around, but it's really not easy (or very safe) to try for a 2-turn TD, with their blanket MA6, as it would involve several gfis and passes. I'm finding that if I try to push down one side with a couple of vamps, it's fairly easy for my opponent to shut down that side. The vamps don't then really have the speed or passing skills to effectively switch sides, and before I know it I end up getting bogged down, losing players and getting caught.

So, does anyone have any advice on offensive strategies for vamps? Especially at low-mid TV, before you've got a lot of skills or +stats. Do you try to push down one side aggressively, or try to switch sides to catch the defender out? Or, do you stay central, to try to keep your options open and stay flexible?

Interestingly, I haven't found much advice around about vampire offense, even though it seems to be their biggest weakness. There don't seem to be any existing threads about it here, and there is very scanty advice in both the strategy guide on here and in Plasmoid's Vampire Playbook. Very interested to hear any thoughts from some experienced vampire players Smile

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Last edited by JellyBelly on Nov 13, 2018 - 02:43; edited 1 time in total
JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 02:41 Reply with quote Back to top

Btw, I have two vamp teams on here, Dark Sacriledge, who I played in the NWL for a couple of seasons with not a lot of success, and this one that I'm playing in the BBT, who haven't gotten off to a great start (although they rolled +ST and +AG on two vamps after their last game, which might help a bit).

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
MonkeyMan576



Joined: Jul 02, 2008

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 02:49 Reply with quote Back to top

I don't have a great vamp record but to me the better offensive strategy is to load up your Vamps with Pro and have rerolls so you don't give into the bloodlust that often.
JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 03:00 Reply with quote Back to top

MonkeyMan576 wrote:
I don't have a great vamp record but to me the better offensive strategy is to load up your Vamps with Pro and have rerolls so you don't give into the bloodlust that often.


Thanks for your input Monkeyman, this seems like good advice. But, by offensive strategy, what I'm really talking about is the game plan, as in, what do people try to do? For example, say I've got 4 vamps on a mid-TV team, obviously one has to hang back and pick up the ball, but what do people do with the other three, in terms of positioning?

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
MonkeyMan576



Joined: Jul 02, 2008

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 03:20 Reply with quote Back to top

I'd use your vamps to block your opponents and your thralls to cage since thralls don't have BL.
Sigmar1



Joined: Aug 13, 2008

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 04:07 Reply with quote Back to top

I've reached Legend as a Vampire player and I have no idea how their offense works. I know that on at least one of my Vampire teams I'd developed a Thrall ballcarrier which was an effective way to keep my Vampires engaged at the point of attack and save having to keep a Thrall back for emergency feeding for the ball-retrieving Vampire. He generally handed off to one of the Vampires for the score. But engaging with all your Vampires over protecting one really increases your LOS potential (while obviously making your carrier WAY more vulnerable).

Typically I push up one side, using the Vampires mobility and HG to allow the Thralls to lead and follow. I'm not big on taking Pro before other valuable skills, so I tend to bite my thralls more than other players. I'll happily bite a Thrall before burning a rr on any but the most critical moves. (That said, I've come to appreciate Pro a lot more since playing Von Carstein).

At some point in the drive either you seal the edge or get "stopped". But with ST4 AG4 players who can also HG, it takes a lot to actually seal off a Vampire drive. It does happen though, so that's when I'll look to make a reverse.

What's important to remember is that as crappy as Thralls seem, they can be decent players in their own right. My NWFL Vampires went thru a nasty string of luck where most or all the vamps missed a handful of matches in a row, and the Thralls held their own. Running even one thrall up the opposite side provides lots of options as they will generally only draw a single defender, who can be gazed by a Vampire coming up from the backfield. Riskier than I'd like but in a pinch a HG, maybe a couple of dodges and an AG4 pass/ AG3 catch puts the ball in the Thralls hand for a run into the Endzone.

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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 04:29 Reply with quote Back to top

Sigmar1 wrote:
I've reached Legend as a Vampire player and I have no idea how their offense works.


Lol! Quote of the week? Wink

I've been watching a handful of Kingvan's games, and he often seems to send all the vamps except the retriever on an all-or-nothing blitz down one side - starting as many players as possible on the line, blitzing one or two vamps through and using hypno to create paths to tie up the rest of the defenders on that side with thralls. More often than not, he seems to take all Wink . Maybe I need to try that and throw them all forward - be less cautious and tentative.

The thrall ball retriever idea is interesting. That would be especially good if a thrall got a +AG. I agree about the thralls being useful. As you say, people often ignore thralls or only mark them with 1 player, as they assume you won't try to score with them. I've scored with a couple of them recently after they've done that.

Thanks for the input Smile

_________________
"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
Sigmar1



Joined: Aug 13, 2008

Post   Posted: Nov 13, 2018 - 04:58 Reply with quote Back to top

This is the team where the Thralls spent the majority of a season carrying the team: Sangrial Suckers. (They won a Championship btw, in the most improbable way. I crowed about it for years afterwards).

That was back when I used to comment after nearly every match. You can literally track the coach becoming an alcoholic as the season progresses lol. Read thru the match commentaries if you're in the mood for some fun bloodbowl fiction. I was in peak match commentary form back then.

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gamelsetlmatch



Joined: Mar 05, 2013

Post   Posted: Nov 18, 2018 - 13:46 Reply with quote Back to top

Edited**
From my experience having played with Vamps, I found that they are very tricky to play. If your players arent exploding all over or the vamps all decide they want to Bloodlust, things rarely go as planned so you kind of just go with the flow and make due with whatever is available.
Yes, Vampires are serviceable taking a standard baseline but they actually benefit from stat increases much more than almost every player in the game. My own personal preference of Leap before block is because i know how slow the team seems once you get into the thick of the action and Leap cuts all kinds of corners, instead of trying to gaze through situations.

Vampire skill progression is simple..
Dodge
Pro
Leap
Stat up, or just replace him

Vampires score more from stealing the ball, than they do in a 'offensive strategy,

Having a couple thralls as your ball hawk seems to work out better for the team than relying on the vamps to pop the ball loose and then recover.

Your best offense, in this game, is your defense

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Last edited by gamelsetlmatch on Nov 18, 2018 - 18:57; edited 1 time in total
ArthurWynne



Joined: Sep 23, 2015

Post   Posted: Nov 18, 2018 - 14:29 Reply with quote Back to top

I think you're forgetting Block there... and I might take Leap on one vampire, but not all of them!
JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: Nov 18, 2018 - 15:06 Reply with quote Back to top

I thought Leap on vamps was sub-optimal, because of the hypno-gaze that they have for taking away tackle zones? I've tended to aim for Dodge, Block, then a mix of either Sidestep, Pro or Tackle on my vamps. Not that it's done a lot of good, so far ... xD

Anyway, with this thread, I was hoping to focus more on in-game offensive strategies/tactics, rather than team development.

_________________
"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
Harad



Joined: May 11, 2014

Post   Posted: Nov 18, 2018 - 15:12 Reply with quote Back to top

So, my general approach is to try to set my opponent a dilemma. To do so:

One vampire fully commits to the two turn possibility, one vampire partially commits and the others remain central with the ball carrier edging towards the two turn. If your opponent doesn't cover this sufficiently, consider taking on the 2+s to make the 2/3 turn score. If your opponent over commits to covering this continue to carry the ball down the other flank and see where you get to.

Of course, ideally, you are 1-0 up and this opens up the possibility that running the ball down the other flank can just be time wasting.
JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: Nov 18, 2018 - 18:05 Reply with quote Back to top

@Harad: ok, thanks for the input. It sounds like that would be a good plan if you want to take a bit more time over the offense, especially against the slower teams that can't easily cover both flanks.

_________________
"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
uzkulak



Joined: Mar 30, 2004

Post   Posted: Nov 19, 2018 - 03:05 Reply with quote Back to top

I think you also have to remember that a str4 guy with blodge is difficult to take down. Vamps are a higher risk team than most. You don't need the perfect cage to progress, especially when it is relatively easier for you to get the ball back.
delusional



Joined: Jan 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Nov 19, 2018 - 04:10 Reply with quote Back to top

JellyBelly wrote:
Sigmar1 wrote:
I've reached Legend as a Vampire player and I have no idea how their offense works.


Lol! Quote of the week? Wink

I've been watching a handful of Kingvan's games, and he often seems to send all the vamps except the retriever on an all-or-nothing blitz down one side - starting as many players as possible on the line, blitzing one or two vamps through and using hypno to create paths to tie up the rest of the defenders on that side with thralls. More often than not, he seems to take all Wink . Maybe I need to try that and throw them all forward - be less cautious and tentative.

The thrall ball retriever idea is interesting. That would be especially good if a thrall got a +AG. I agree about the thralls being useful. As you say, people often ignore thralls or only mark them with 1 player, as they assume you won't try to score with them. I've scored with a couple of them recently after they've done that.

Thanks for the input Smile



I think that what appears as "I have no idea how their offense works", is a result of their versatility not disablement. They are a very strong team with only two defects BL and an average MV6.

You have too many options, not too few. Some options are hampered by BL, so you can't just have a lone vamp stand 6 squares from the end zone and score.

I had always thought the most obvious scoring route is to have a Thrall matched with a vamp. Vamp and thrall run to the end zone. Add Jump up to the thrall and you have a hard to stop scoring combination.

But you can do anything. Barge down one side using one or two thralls for OFAB and throw the ball to whomever is standing. Keep a few thralls 6 squares from the endzone and throw to whomever is not marked. Gaze a marker and throw to an open thrall... Anything.

Pro is a must for Vamps. Otherwise pick as you see fit,
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